Great expectations: UniSA launches SA’s first University-based midwifery service

Midwife Kate Bergamasco Expectant mums are due to benefit from a “ground-breaking” new Midwifery Clinic opening on Tuesday at the University of South Australia’s (UniSA) City East campus, becoming the State’s first University-based midwifery service.

The Midwifery Clinic will help provide the latest evidence-based care to support women through their pregnancy and post-childbirth, while enabling UniSA midwifery students to gain significant hands-on learning opportunities.

UniSA’s Head of School for Nursing and Midwifery, Professor Carol Grech says the clinic will allow women to conveniently access antenatal and postnatal maternity care in the Adelaide CBD.

“The appeal for this type of clinic is growing as a result of the increased demand for midwifery-led models of care.  We can now offer women and their families an important service in the CBD that they may otherwise not be able to access conveniently,” Professor Grech says.

 “The clinic also benefits UniSA’s academic and clinical midwives by providing a practice environment they can contribute to in positive ways including opportunities for faculty practice and research.

“Our midwifery students are also able to work closely under the guidance of experienced midwives in a community setting, giving them a valuable hands-on learning experience.”

Labor State Member for Elder Annabel Digance, who has worked closely with UniSA regarding the clinic’s development, described it as a ‘ground-breaking initiative’.

Ms Digance placed a private members’ bill before the SA State Parliament earlier this year in support of the International Day of the Midwife, moving that the house “recognise the importance of visible investment and commitment in the advancement of the profession of midwifery as being fundamental to the progress of our future”.

 “The UniSA clinic could target expectant mothers who might otherwise not have access to midwifery-led models of care,” Ms Digance says.

“These care models show better wellbeing outcomes for mothers and babies.”

The new clinic would provide a vehicle to promote the importance of this ‘exciting and innovative’ model of care and eventually ensure that it was accessible to all expectant mothers, Ms Digance said.

The clinic’s development has been guided and directed by Dr Lois McKellar, Program Director of UniSA’s Bachelor of Midwifery who says the clinic can respond to local community needs by increasing access and choice in maternity care.

“The Midwifery Clinic will provide families with access to midwives during pregnancy and also during the full six weeks after birth, revolutionising how Australian families start their parenting journey and contributing to healthy and resilient communities in Australia.”

Dr McKellar says the midwives working in the clinic have extensive experience across all aspects of pregnancy and parenting care, with certified Lactation Consultants who provide breastfeeding support as well as midwives who can offer hypnobirthing education in preparation for labour and birth.

The UniSA Midwifery Clinic has an Open Day on Tuesday 29 November where people can chat with the midwives, meet midwifery students and discover more about the range of clinic services on offer.

For more details click here

Media contact: Will Venn mobile: 0401 366054 email: will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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